I’ve been working hard on the book this week. Man, I never knew how hard it would be to write a book with 12,000. It sounds like a lot, but for me…it’s not. What I mean by that is this… My sermons are about 3,200-3,500 words. So, that’s only 3 1/2 sermons worth of words. My problem is that I’m superfluous. I’m “too wordy.” I know it. I’ve always struggled with it. So, I’ve got to be succinct and to the point. So, I feel like I’ve written this book three times already. I keep changing the order of things and how to describe things in an effort to tighten it up. So…I’ve got a lot of work left to do. I’ll get it done…but, I’ve had an up and down time with it.
One of the issues is simply the winter. During the winter there is significantly more sickness and problems with folks. Really? Yes, really. Cold weather brings the flu, colds, death and people indoors brooding over their problems. That’s where I come in. They need me and that’s fine… So what was I thinking in trying to write a book in the winter? Duh!! 🙂
Here’s the upside. I was able to put about four hours into the book today because I’m not preaching Sunday. This man is…
That’s David Black. He’s coming to Wilkesboro this weekend and will speak at the church at the 8:30 am and 11:00 am services. He’s going to be talking about “The Only Thing That Matters.” He’ll be speaking from Philippians 1:27-30. He’ll be bringing this young man (pictured on the right) with him…
That’s Nigusse. He’s from Alaba, Ethiopia. I’ve been there many times. Nigusse is one of my favorite people in the world. He is finishing up his Master of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (where Dave is a professor of Greek and New Testament). He’s a former elder/pastor at a very large church in Alaba.
Shown speaking there in 2009. Here’s Katy from 2011 with some of the children.
We love Nigusse and he’ll be speaking to our Mentoring Sunday School class that has a mix of teens and adults. Dave and Nigusse will be spending the weekend with us at our home! Can’t wait! You can’t imagine the privilege it is to have these two men in our home and for our children to be exposed to their knowledge and lives and most of all their love for Jesus! Awesome!
Speaking of Dr. Black. He quoted an article found at Contemporary Families that said this:
… white Conservative Protestants and Black Protestants are more likely than the average American to be divorced, with 17.2 percent and 15.7 percent of their populations being currently divorced, respectively. Indeed, Evangelical Protestants are more likely to be divorced than Americans who claim no religion.
Dr. Black went on to say this:
What a mess! Our world is in desperate need of Christian marriages that model faithfulness. I want people to see another face of Christianity. How dare we rally against the gay agenda when our own house is in disarray. Somehow we miss the fact that marriage can be a beautiful means of discipleship. This report is disturbing. It should make us uncomfortable. At the same time, I will be the first to say that the only reason I am not divorced is because of the sheer unmerited grace of God. Becky and I were not strangers to difficulties in our marriage. But we stuck it out. Sometimes that’s the most important thing you can do in life. Then one day we gave up “Christianity” so that we could follow Christ, and we began to live for something bigger than our marriage. We began to thirst for the kingdom of God. Marriage is not an event but a process, a process of slowly ripping ourselves from the culture all around us. It requires working together and the humility to acknowledge it when you fail. So hang in there, you married couples. The Gospel is good news for troubled marriages but disturbing for people who think they have it all together. No marriage is beyond redemption. This is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.
Amen Brother Dave! Amen!
And that’s why I’m working so hard on my book on relationships and dating and the Bible. Here’s an excerpt from my forthcoming book…
So what are the consequences of dating? What has dating done to our society? It’s helped to decimate the family. We have a divorce rate in this nation of over 50% and young people are going through multiple relationships like a turnstile at a stadium. Thus, we have a soiled morality. Many Christians have assumed it is normal and healthy for young people to experience several dating relationships prior to selecting a spouse. For whatever reason, these recreational romances are assumed and considered to be some sort of emotional preparation for marriage. But, dating is not natural. It’s artificial. It’s play acting. When a person goes on a date, they are showing their best to that other person. It’s not real life. We dress up and spruce up and put our best foot forward and off we go to dinner and a movie.
Are these temporary often fake, romantic relationships really God’s ideal? Does He desire for young couples to become romantically involved with one another when they are 12 and 13 years old? Are they to continue this partner-swapping for the next 10-15 years until they finally marry? Can it be healthy for young people to “practice” divorce for 10-15 years. My former basketball coach always said: “You play like you practice!” Amen coach!
Dating today often teaches that it is okay to break up at any time for any reason. You can even do it via a text message or via social media. No problem! Yet, in breaking up, these two hearts, (which have likely begun to bond emotionally) will be ripped apart. They leave each other with at least some degree of heart-break. And they will likely leave with varying degrees of emotional wounding and scarring. But soon the pain of breaking up is pushed to the back of their brain and before long there is a new romance with a different partner. Yet, even young wounds leave deep scars and over a period of several years of experiencing these emotional break-ups, there is a cumulative effect on a person’s heart. It becomes increasingly calloused.
Finally the young person “finds” the one they will eventually marry. (I place the word: “finds” in quotations because it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s God sovereignty that brings that person into a believer’s life, if we’ll trust Him.) But the memories of past romances, the pattern of broken relationships without question will indelibly mark the brain and the heart forever.
Do you see how this goes “hand in glove” with the massive problem of divorce in America? I’m convinced even most Christians are dating up a storm and almost unbeknown to them…they are simply practicing divorce. There is a better way. More to come…
Speaking of young people… Did you see this? It’s hilarious!
Who decided that we had to learn “imaginary numbers” in school? Unless you are going to teach math…you’ll never use that “knowledge” again… But, balancing a checkbook…well…that’s something you’ll be doing once per month for the rest of your life.
If you live in Western NC, be on alert. I believe our best chance for measurable snow for the winter might be coming next Tuesday night and Wednesday. It’s still early, but the models are lining up much more so than they have for this weekend. Some people last week at this time were predicting a foot of snow for this weekend…
… but that was only one model. That pink color is one foot of snow! But, that won’t happen this weekend. We might get a brief burst Saturday morning…perhaps even a dusting. But, that should be it. But, for next week…three of the four major weather models are lining up. Now, they could be wrong. Often they are…but, it’s certainly something to watch.
Also, in case you are interested in this year’s cold weather so far and just how cold it’s been… I saw this on Ray’s Weather at booneweather.com last week.
The “big picture” story is illustrated in this one graph;
This graph basically says “January 2014 was about as cold as it can get”.
The uniqueness of this event was in the duration of the cold. The tables that follow tell the story, but here are some highlights. January 2014:
- Was the 3rd to 5th coldest January on record (for stations with over 50 years of data)
- Was the coldest January since the late 1970s.
- Months with this level of cold are probably one-in-twenty-year events. You won’t have to deal with many of these in a lifetime in Western North Carolina.
- The fact that it was so cold has almost nothing to do with the discussion of Global Warming. “Weather is like news. Climate is like history.” Here’s an analogy… It is a well-known fact that the murder rate in New York City has declined significantly in the last twenty-five years. The murder rate today less than one-seventh of what it was in 1990. But there were still 334 people murdered in New York City last year. Both the trend and last year’s data are facts that co-exist somewhat independently of each other. The climate is a combination of what happens all over the globe over the course of many years; the weather we experience is bounded by place and time. So, a warming climate does not preclude specific cold weather events like what happened in the Eastern U. S. in January 2014. http://booneweather.com/January2014/
All I’ll say is this:
Winter ain’t over by a long shot… 🙂